Missions is God’s Heartbeat
I’ve heard people talk about the Biblical basis of missions. But I think it’s more accurately stated as the missional basis of the Bible.
It’s so easy to assume that missions is a New Testament idea. But it’s not. It’s been God’s heart since the very beginning. His passion for the nations is evident throughout the entirety of the Bible.
I know many often struggle to reconcile the God of judgment and wrath in the Old Testament with the one of mercy and grace in the New. But if we look closely enough, we can see His heartbeat as a thread all throughout.
It’s so evident in the Bible stories we learned in Sunday School, but amid the flannelgraphs and illustrated kids’ Bibles, we may have missed it.
Way back in Genesis, God promised Abraham overwhelming blessings. Not so Abraham could live an abundant, selfish life. But so that “all people on earth will be blessed” through him. All people.
The story of Noah and the ark shows us more than God’s wrath on the sinful world and the rescue of every kind of animal. It reveals God’s mercy, compassion, and love for the nations of the earth. The promise set forth in the rainbow was God’s covenant with all of mankind—not just Noah’s family. Not just the people of Israel. Not just the Body of Christ. God’s covenant of grace was “a covenant for all generations to come.” All generations.
What was the whole point of David and Goliath? Little beats big? God on your side is the majority? We can do all things through God’s strength? All of those things and more. Ultimately, it reveals God’s heart. David conquered Goliath so “the whole world will know that there is a God.” The whole world.
Then there was Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the three young Israelites in the fiery furnace. In the end, King Nebuchadnezzar decreed that the people of “every nation” will know that “no other god can save.” Every nation.
Not only did the Lord spare Daniel’s life in the lion’s den, but “all the peoples, nations, and men of every language” heard about it. The king issued a decree that basically said, “There is no God like Daniel’s!” Every language.
Even in the Psalms we can read of God’s heart for the lost. “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us that Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.” David’s prayer was “Bless us, Lord, so that all nations may come to know You!” There are so many other passages like that strewn throughout the Psalms. All nations.
As you read the Bible this week, look at everything through the missions lens. You’ll see things you never noticed before. And you’ll discover the heart of God in a whole new way.
God’s ultimate plan is for all nations to know Him. As Christians, as God-followers, we are called to be a part of His plan.
All of us.
Alece Ronzino moved to Africa at 19 and pioneered Thrive Africa, a ministry focused on training indigenous leaders in the poorest region of South Africa. Her journey of faith is a mix of grit and glory. Mostly grit.